I am not quite ready to throw in the towel on cursive writing. In fact I never will, and I am bemoaning the loss of this art form, one of our last true expressions of ourselves and personalities.
Cursive, whether it is scrawled and awkward or grand and flourishing is the last bastion of civilization, next to good manners of course. Short of eye contact, fingerprints and the spoken word, it is how we read a person and get an inkling of their style and purpose.
When expressed in cursive, or penmanship as we referred to it when I was in school, words and thoughts take on a life of their own. One can certainly compose identical comments on the keyboard, but handwriting, done well, brings style and substance. Handwriting takes time, space, thought and purpose. Generations of us fortunate enough to have had these lessons taught in the classroom, in the course of the normal school day know this.
A recent Wall Street Journal article titled The Handwriting is on the Wall speaks about the decision in the state of Indiana to longer make teaching cursive writing mandatory in schools – quite a short-sighted decision in my estimation. We can only hope that Indiana and other states that heading in this direction have an army of after school curriculum instructors and tutors who will ensure that the next generations. With this decision cursive handwriting will undoubtedly become an issue of class and status, for those who have the means to seek out this art form will possess the power to woo others with the pen.
For my part, I am pleased to be a proper Bostonian, where cursive is still taught in schools, for the meantime.